6 cyber security threats for today’s organisations

Your business’s network and data are like the grand prizes of a cyber security game played by cybercriminals and other malicious actors. These entities will try a multitude of ways to acquire your organisation’s technology and information, ultimately using it for their own gain.

Companies and their employees should be wary of the 6 most common security risks the modern cyber world poses. With this information in your mind, you will be able to protect your business and its data with comprehensive measures ranging from individual digital security solutions (such as next-generation firewalls) to the expertise and support of a cyber security analyst.

1. Phishing

Phishing is a type of cyber threat that relies on the victim believing that an email is legitimate. Phishing email attacks are often used to steal sensitive information (including usernames and passwords) or to trick victims into installing malicious programs onto their devices. All of this is done by the victim opening a link within the message.

2 common types of phishing scams are:
  • Spear phishing – a targeted attack on specific individuals within an organisation. Phishing attackers using this method will already have information on the target and can tailor the message to make it seem more personal.
  • Whaling – a form of spear phishing where the perpetrator targets a prominent person within the business.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware (a type of malware) is one of the biggest cyber security threats organisations face today. Once activated, it encrypts documents and files, preventing their owners from accessing them. In these circumstances, ransomware deployers demand their victims pay a cryptocurrency ransom to have the files decrypted.

What can make ransomware even more dangerous is the existence of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). RaaS is a type of illicit business model where ransomware developers offer their malicious codes to customers, giving them the ability to conduct their own ransomware attacks regardless of their level of IT knowledge. 

With RaaS products and services in circulation, anyone is capable of becoming a cyber criminal and posing a threat to your network and system security.

3. Human error

Cyber security threats can also result from you and your own employees. Human error and oversights are the cause of most data breaches. Your company’s people (no matter where their position is within the organisation) interact with vital information and data every day.

All it takes is one misstep for a malicious entity to gain access to your system and wreak havoc. Human error can include:

4. Poor password practices

The passwords your organisation uses effectively act as the keys to your technical infrastructure. If they are not managed correctly or if they are not created in accordance with network and system security best practices, the chances of a cybercriminal obtaining them for unlawful access to network tools increases, resulting in data breaches. 

Ineffective password practices can include:

5. Malware

Malware covers various types of malicious software, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware. Malware can be used to damage or disable systems and networks and steal data. It is one of the most well-known cyber security threats businesses are facing as they typically capitalise on system vulnerabilities that can appear as oversights from the customer’s perspective.

Malware can impact any number of devices, from Internet of Things (IoT) devices to internal servers and desktop computers. This means that no business or employee is completely safe from malware – it can target any work tool, and, if left unchecked, can continue to spread until it reaches the entire network, no matter its method of entry.

6. Lack of/unclear network and system security strategies

According to a McKinsey report, “only 16% [of executives] say their companies are well prepared”  to handle digital security risks. This can be attributed to several reasons, with a poor network and system security strategy being one of them. Organisations that do not have clear security policies, standards, and guidelines are easy targets for cybercriminals, leading to an increased chance of cyber-attacks and ruined reputations.

Effective security strategies align your business’s technology and people to ensure that everyone (and everything) within your company are exercising compliance and safe digital practices. They factor in all possible risks, including human error and external threats. They can also include a plan of action to minimise the damage the malicious actor inflicts during the incident. 

Overcome today's cyber threats with a cyber security analyst

Cyber security is, and will continue to be, vital for organisations, especially with the innovations made in the technology and business landscapes. Cyber security threats will always be present to bar your company from reaching its full potential, but there are solutions you can invest in to combat the threats.

The cyber security professionals at Muscatech can support your network and system security 24/7/365. From implementing full-time access control measures to penetration testing, data breach management, and more, talk to the Muscatech team today to acquire the support of a cyber security analyst who can help your business avoid present and future digital threats.

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